Burundi

Tiny Burundi is an incongruous mix of soaring mountains, languid lakeside communities and a tragic past blighted by ethnic conflict. Despite their troubles, Burundians have an irrepressible joie de vivre, and their smiles are as infectious as a rhythm laid down by a drummer from Les Tambourinaires.

When civil war broke out in 1993, the economy was destroyed and the tourist industry succumbed to a quick death. When the war finally ended in 2005 a trickle of travellers returned to rediscover the steamy capital, Bujumbura, with its lovely Lake Tanganyika setting and some of the finest inland beaches on the continent.